Russian Foreign Intelligence Chief Says He Talked To CIA Director

Call With CIA Director Confirmed By Russian Spy Chief

( – The Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization funded by Russia, staged a rebellion in late June. Headed by leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, they marched toward Moscow until the Kremlin reached a deal with the mercenaries. In the aftermath, the CIA reportedly contacted Russian intelligence to let them know the US had no involvement in the staged rebellion. That led to an hour-long phone call between the two countries, according to Russia’s spy chief.

On June 30, The Wall Street Journal reported that CIA Director William Burns reached out to Russia’s foreign intelligence chief, Sergei Naryshkin. During the call, the US assured Russia it wasn’t trying to stoke tensions between the two countries. Instead, Burns told his Russian counterpart, “The U.S. wasn’t involved. This is an internal Russian matter.”

However, controversy has surrounded the call. Russia says that Burns and Naryshkin discussed “what to do with Ukraine.” The US categorically denies any such conversation took place, saying that its stance is that Ukraine’s future is its own to determine and doesn’t warrant interference.

Despite the increased tensions between Russia and the US, which are at their worst in the last 60 years, the two intelligence heads have remained in communication since the beginning of the war. When pressed on the nature of their most recent discussions, the White House declined to go into details, saying it wouldn’t address “specifics of individual diplomatic discussions.”

Naryshkin is adamant that negotiations with Ukraine must take place at some point. Yet, in a statement to Reuters, Mykhailo Podolyak, the Ukrainian presidential adviser, said, “Naryshkin has no leverage.”

The war between Ukraine and Russia is still raging, nearly 18 months after the latter invaded last February. The US has continued to support Ukraine with aid, sending billions of dollars in equipment and humanitarian packages, and it’s unlikely to stop anytime soon.

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